How To Save Money for Travel
Traveling around the world is a dream for many, but it can often feel completely out of reach due to finances. However, it is completely possible to save enough to make your dreams come true. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Evaluate Your Finances
The first things you need to do before knowing how much you can save each moth is figuring out what your expenses are, how much you have coming in, and how much you have going out. Once you have this information, you can see how much you need to live on and from there start planning how much you can put back each month.
Trim the Fat
Anything in your monthly expenses that isn’t necessary for survival can be trimmed. Are you paying for Netflix? Could you use a friend’s account and save that $10 extra dollars every month? Do you pay for monthly subscriptions that you don’t use? How often do you go out? Could you spend a couple more nights a week eating/drinking at home and having friends over instead of racking up the expense of socializing at bars and restaurants?
Determine How Much You Will Need
Try to estimate as many of your traveling expenses as you can. Calculate the cost of airfare, where you will be staying, meals, spending money, miscellaneous expenses, and anything else you can predict you will need while traveling. Once you know a ballpark range of how much you will need, it will be easier to create goals for saving.
Make a Budget
Once you’ve evaluated your expenses and and trimmed any unnecessary expenditures from your monthly bills, you can plan a budget. Mint.com is one of the most popular online tools for budgeting. The site makes it possible to make a simple budget, manage your bills, and track your credit all in one place. Keeping a finger on the pulse of your spending will make it easier for you to stick to your budget and saving plan.
Buy Your Ticket
As soon as you are able, buy your plane ticket. Once the ticket is bought, you are committed, and the looming departure date will help keep you focused and accountable with your saving goals. It’s much easier to save for something that is approaching closer with every day than a hypothetical “someday.”
Take Advantage of Birthdays and Holidays
Forgo the traditional gifts for these annual holidays and instead ask for monetary contributions towards your travel found. You can also ask for things you will need while traveling that you might not be able to fit in your budget, such as quality travel luggage or climate appropriate clothing.
Keep a Limit in Your Checking Account
Only keep the money you need for monthly bills in your checking account and put the rest in your travel fund. This will help you not to splurge and overspend on things. Transfer any money you do not need for bills to your savings account immediately.
Have a Side Hustle
Having a little something extra that you do on the side can help beef up your savings. Drive for Uber, freelance, clean houses, walk dogs, or, join apps such as TaskRabbit that allow you to set your own schedule and pay rate as you complete tasks for others.
If you will be traveling for several months and are in a transitory state of life, consider giving up your apartment. Rent is the leading primary expense for most people, not to mention the cost of keeping a household running, so living at home with your parents or on a friend's couch for a month or two could save you thousands of dollars. If you need to hang on to your place while traveling, consider renting it out on AirBnB while you are away. Not having to worry about rent will be one less thing on your mind while you are off seeing the world.